Thursday, October 21, 2010

In honor of Halloween........

The Doom of the Haunted Opera

By John Bellairs

"Beware!" the ghost whispered. "Beware the doom of the haunted opera! He means to be King of the Dead!"

When Lewis Barnavelt and Rose Rita Pottinger explore an old, abandoned theater, they find an unpublished opera score. Disregarding the warning of the ghost, they bring the sheet music to school, where The Day of Doom is heralded as a masterpiece.

Then Henry Vanderhelm, the composer's grandson, arrives and manipulates the town into putting on a performance of the opera. Only Vanderhelm knows that when the opera is played, the dead will help Harry Vanderhelm enslave the world! Will Lewis and Rose Rita stop the performance- or watch the curtains rise on the undead?

My mom gave this book to me last year for Christmas. What a perfect book to read for Halloween! And it's illustrated by Edward Gorey, my favorite artist. What more could I want?

I'm just starting it, so I will update later to let everyone know how it was.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
By: Betty MacDonald
130 Pages
Ages: 8-12

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies. She was even married to a pirate once. Most of all, she knows everything about children. She can cure them of any ailment. Patsy hates baths. Hubert never puts anything away. Allen eats v-e-r-y slowly. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a treatment for all of them. --

This book was recommended to me by my blog partner, Rose. She told me I would like it and she was right!! I loved reading this book so much that I read the whole thing in one day, which isn't easy with two small children!

I loved her "cures" for common childhood "diseases" like 'The-Won't-Pick-Up-Toys Cure" or "The Radish Cure". She puts a new spin on common childhood behaviors. I wish I was this creative and inventive!! Through giving the child exactly what they want she gets them to realise they don't really want it after all. It's brilliant!!

One child decided she didn't want to take baths anymore. OK, so out with the baths... Until she's got enough dirt on her to plant radish seeds on her and they grow! Another child decides he doesn't want to share anything that's his anymore. Alright... Until he gets picked on for having labels on everything that's his and looses the keys that go to the locks on everything that's his. And they only to way to cure a child suffering from the "Answer-Backer" disease is to get a parrot involved.

Each chapter is a separate child suffering from a "disease" that Mrs. Piggle- Wiggle has the perfect and guaranteed cure for. I can't wait to read this book to my girls when they're old enough. It's perfect for those family readings or bed time stories.

Rating: Buy It!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Search for WondLa

by Tony DiTerlizzi
"Don't you get it, Muthr?" Eva said, affronted. "Look at the girl and her parent. Look at their robot. See how happy they all are?"

Eva Nine had never seen the actual sun before, or walked outdoors. In fact, she had never seen another living person in all twelve years of her life. That changes when a marauding huntsman destroys her underground home and sends her fleeing for her life. So begins the harrowing quest of Eva Nine, seemingly the only human alive on an extraordinary alien planet. Through daring escapes, confrontations with beguiling characters, and travels over spectacular vistas, Eva is led by a single clue that gives her hope: a crumbling picture of a girl, a robot, and a human with only the word "WONDLA" still visible on it. Along the way, she comes to understand the true meaning of home and family.

With its classic prose and breathtaking illustrations, The Search for WondLa is sure to inspire dreams. The search is just the beginning......

This book cast a spell over me. I became completely drawn into Eva Nine's world, and her adventures with the various fascinating characters that she meets throughout the story. I was up until 3am because I needed to know if she was going to find any more humans on the planet.

I read the Advance Reader Copy of this book, which was missing most of the illustrations. The illustrations that are in it are absolutely amazing. I was already a fan of Tony DiTerlizzi from The Spiderwick Chronicles, but this is his best work yet. I could just feel the pictures coming off the page. I will definitely be purchasing the fully illustrated hardcover edition!

The best news about this book (and also the worst, if you're impatient like me), is that it's the beginning of a series. I will tell you this much- the ending leaves you totally hanging. I can't wait for book two! This is solid science fiction that would be great for anyone age 9 and up. Or should I say age 9 to 99? This is one of those books that adults will enjoy just as much as adolescents.

Rating: Buy it, buy it, buy it!